10 May 2010

home again, home again

85 sixth graders. 9 chaperones. 6 visits to universities and cultural sites. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 AMAZING trip! Yes, I still feel a little like the boy pictured above, but I have to brag on my students for a bit here, because even though it was crazy hot in San Antonio, and even though we were all pretty worn out at times, they were so positive and focused the entire time. A few students said they were hot (and, to be fair, we were walking around in school uniforms in close to 100-degree weather), but that was it for complaints.

People complimented our kids' behavior throughout the trip. At the Witte Museum, a woman stopped me to ask what model we use to teach our kids. She told me that she's in the process of trying to form a charter school and wants to use whatever model we use, since she was so impressed with our students! I have never been more proud of them.

I was so worried that the students wouldn't have a good time on the field lesson, but as it turned out, I didn't need to be. The students were so thrilled to be on our adventure and were ready to, in their words, "take a-vantish" of the experience. As we pulled away from school Wednesday morning, one student turned to me, saying, "Miss, I'm so excited! We never got to do this at my other school!"

Check out some more of the awesome things I heard from my students during the trip:
"Even though it's hot, Miss, I want to enjoy this beautiful place we're in, because I might not get to see it again." (referring to the Mission San Juan)

"This is the most amazing thing I ever saw!" (referring to the rec center at University of Texas-San Antonio)

"This garden is so beautiful, it was worth that walk." (referring to the Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park)

"O.M.G. I can't WAIT to go to college!"

Ok, who ordered the television after school special?!

For chaperones, I couldn't have asked for a better group. We took four parents with us, and they were incredibly helpful, doing everything that we asked of them (which was a lot, given the nature of the trip), and helping out in other ways that we didn't even think of beforehand. Besides the four sixth grade teachers, another chaperone from school came on the trip as well, and thank goodness he did. He's from San Antonio and navigated our routes throughout the entire trip. We probably would have ended up in the San Antonio river without him.

Here are some visual highlights from the trip:

Riding the SkyCycle at the Witte Museum

Fighting off giant creatures, also at the Witte

Remembering the Alamo

Eating Texas-shaped waffles
(Side note: Texas seriously has more state pride than any other state I know of. Are there waffle irons shaped like your state? Apparently, Bed, Bath, and Beyond sells these babies. Who knew?!)

Touring Our Lady of the Lake University

Discovering the hidden Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park

It was so fun to interact with the students in a different type of setting from the classroom. Overall, a wonderful trip.

One little guy, Omar, scampered up to me as we were walking through the shrine at the Alamo.

"Miss!" he exclaimed. "I just heard the man behind the desk say, 'These children are wonderful!'"

How right that man is.

Sleeping child image via.

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